Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 3/12/12

The defending champs don’t look like champs of late. The Dallas Mavericks have lost three in a row and eight of their last ten. If they don’t get it together soon, the odds of them defending their title are virtually zilch.

The Mavs have been dealing with injuries, inconsistent play and their age is really starting to hurt them through this grueling schedule (who else saw that coming?). They just dropped all three games in a back-to-back-to-back on the road, including a fourth-quarter collapse to the Suns and a couple of double-digit losses to the Kings and Warriors. They look bad.

Veteran point guard JasonKidd said he was ready for three games in three days, but coach RickCarlisle felt differently and sat Kiddon Saturday night. He wasn’t the only Maverick in street clothes though. Both BrendanHaywood (ankle) and DelonteWest (finger) didn’t suit up, and BrandanWright was still back in Dallas with a concussion.

JasonTerry says the team isn’t playing like a team, that they don’t have the same look as last year’s guys and that it might just be time for a change. He’s trying to stay optimistic through it all, but it has to be tough.

"We can't let this kill our spirit. It's been a rough go and you've got to go through tough times to get to where you want to go," Terry said. "Hopefully, we'll look back on this stretch of the season and say, 'Man, we got through it, we persevered.' The communication is back. I think after the Phoenix loss, we aired a lot of things out. We're all on the same page now. Hopefully we can go home and right the ship."

They get a three-game homestand to try and right their ship. The Wizards and Bobcats are coming to town before the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. It should be two easy wins before their tough weekend test, but with the way the Mavs have been playing, nothing is going to come easy.

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